Adolescence has been kind to Mendocino Farms, the high-end fast-casual sandwich concept that turned the industry's head while in the startup stage. Featuring high-caliber sandwiches abounding in fresh ingredients, the brainchild of a California husband-and-wife team generated high volumes and a loyal following. Then Big Corporate stepped forward with a bulging sack of money. TPG Capital, the private-equity behemoth that once owned Burger King, bought the concept from co-founders Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen and their backer, the smaller private-equity whale L Catterton. Del Pero was replaced as CEO by a seasoned chain builder, Harald Herrmann, most recently of Darden Restaurants. Competitors wondered if corporatism would wreck the boutique-y brand. But after about two years inside the TPG fold, the modern-day Mendocino seems indistinguishable from its entrepreneurial form. Instead of cranking out units, the TPG-owned chain has added only about 10 stores, and sales appear to be as strong as ever.
|2018 Systemwide Sales ($000,000)||$38*|
|YOY Sales Change||31.1%|
|2018 U.S. Units||24|
|YOY Unit Change||41.2%|
|2018 Average Unit Volume ($000)||$1,875*|
|Future 50 Year||2019|